The Rising in Slang Words in KBBI Used by Youth

Slang Words in KBBI Used by Youth

The history of slang words is one of the most fascinating aspects of language. There is no standard spelling or grammar for these terms, and they are usually used among a particular group. It is not uncommon for slang words to exist in different cultures and languages.

Slang is characterized by its constant evolution, as slang words quickly become outdated or out of style as new words and phrases emerge to describe the changing trends and attitudes of the time. The purpose of slang words is to fill in language gaps or express ideas more concisely or humorously. Although not all groups share the same slang words, sometimes they share viral cool slang words.

The youth are known to be early adopters of slang words and are often responsible for spreading new slang. Using slang words among youth can also be a way for them to establish and express their identity and belonging within their peer group. Several groups have established new slang words as proof of their membership.

It is important to note that while the use of slang words among youth is a common phenomenon, it is not always appropriate or acceptable in all contexts. In certain situations, some slang words may be offensive or inappropriate. The youth should know when and where to use certain slang words in their appropriate manner.

The use of slang words among youth is a complex and constantly evolving phenomenon that reflects the cultural, social, and linguistic dynamics of a particular group or community. Even so, some slang words are commonly used by young people in Indonesia, which advanced into the Great Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI). These slang words are always evolving throughout time and are still used by many youths generations in Indonesia.


1. The Use of Slang Words in Everyday Life

Slang words are a common part of everyday language among Indonesian youth. They are used in informal settings, such as conversations between friends or on social media platforms, to express a wide range of emotions, ideas, and attitudes.

Indonesian youth often use slang words to create a sense of belonging and camaraderie with their peers. Slang words are frequently used to express humor, irony, or sarcasm, and to express approval or disapproval of a particular person, idea, or situation. They can also be used to add emphasis or to make a statement more memorable. Therefore, they tend to use some cool slang words to distinguish their own groups.

There is a vast and constantly evolving vocabulary of slang words used by Indonesian youth. Some common slang words include “baper” (emotional), “kece” (cool), “santuy” (relaxed), “yaelah” (frustrated), and “gabut” (have free time).

While the use of slang words is a natural part of Indonesian youth culture, it is important to recognize that some words may be offensive or inappropriate in certain contexts. It is essential to be mindful of the audience and setting when using slang words and to avoid using them in formal or professional settings. Apart from that, several slang words have made it to the Great Dictionary of Indonesian Language (KBBI).

2. Slang Words Included in KBBI

The Great Dictionary of Indonesian Language (KBBI) is a dictionary that documents and standardizes the Indonesian language, including slang words. However, it is worth noting that not all slang words may be listed in the KBBI, as the language is constantly evolving and changing. Moreover, not all of them can be considered formal enough to make it into the dictionary.

That being said, some words in the KBBI that may be used to describe slang words in Indonesia include:

Bahasa gaul: This term refers to the “cool” or “hip” language used by Indonesian youth, which includes slang words.

Bahasa bebas: This term refers to an informal language not considered standard or proper Indonesian. It includes slang words and other colloquial expressions.

It’s important to note that these terms are not specifically intended to describe slang words, but rather different varieties of the Indonesian language that may include slang words as a component. Here are several slang words used frequently by teenagers that were included in KBBI:

  1. 1. Agan = Sir or madam.
  2. 2. Kepo = Having an excessive interest in people’s interests or affairs.
  3. 3. Mager or Malas gerak = Lazy or not in the mood to do activities.
  4. 4. Kece = something very cool, a handsome person, or a beautiful person.
  5. 5. Julid = Envy; jealousy of other people’s success, usually expressed as comments, statuses, or opinions on social media.

KBBI updates its dictionary twice a year, on the first and last days of April and October, respectively. With the constant use of slang words like the five mentioned above, other slang words can be included in KBBi at later times.

3. Why Have Slang Words Become So Popular

In the millennial generation, slang has become a phenomenon, not only among men but also among women living in small towns and villages. Indonesian youth have become increasingly prone to using slang words in recent years thanks to the advancement of technology. In this case, there are many reasons for this phenomenon to have occurred.

A rise in texting and smartphones caused it to become popular sometime during the early 2010s. The widespread use of social media has made it easier for young people to discover and adopt new slang words. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok provide a space for young people to connect and share information, including new words and phrases.

Although, popular culture has a significant influence on the language and behavior of Indonesian youth. Music, movies, and television shows often feature slang words and phrases, which can quickly become part of the youth lexicon. This had happened long ago before social media was viral and became a thing. Youngsters tend to create their own words that were made up by mimicking their favorite characters in movies.

Using slang words can be a way for young people to assert their identity and independence from older generations. Slang words can also be a way for young people to signal their membership in a particular social group or subculture.

However, they mainly use slang words as a way to express themselves creatively and humorously. Slang words often have a playful and irreverent quality that appeals to young people’s sense of humor and desire for self-expression. Nevertheless, keep in mind that some words with antagonistic connotations can be playful at other times and that sometimes a word with positive connotations can be perceived as negative by the wrong person if that word was incorrectly used.

The popularity of slang words among Indonesian youth reflects the changing dynamics of youth culture in the country, as well as the impact of social media and popular culture on language and behavior.

4. Conclusion

As the millennial generation has grown, slang has become a phenomenon across cities and villages alike, and even those who live in the countryside hear slang as if it were a trend. Conversely, parents and adults expressed concern about the difficulties they were having in understanding their children’s language. They tend to learn this as the rapid advancement of technology occurred.

The purpose of slang is to communicate among particular social groups in ways that others cannot understand. Slang is an informal dialect of Indonesian used by certain communities or places for social interaction, according to the KBBI definition. The use of slang words has expanded outside the community and is now more widespread.

In the past few years, the younger generation has become more and more obsessed with slang, and social media has played a major role in this trend. Later in the upcoming era, expect more slang words to be generated by the new young generation. This is because social media has become a new way of life for youngsters, where they may join groups with similar hobbies, interests, jobs, and other activities. The dynamics of youth culture changed exponentially to suit their favored era and to produce new words later.

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